Ahead of the band’s upcoming Canadian tour, Whoop-Szo share the video for Gerry, a song written about the murder of bandleader Adam Sturgeon’s cousin by a Saskatchewan RCMP officer.
Over the past few years, Whoop-Szo have become honourary members of the east coast music community. Through residencies with Flourish Festival and frequent touring, the band have developed a strong and loyal friend/fan-base far from their homes in Hamilton and London, Ontario.
Earlier this year, Whoop-Szo were announced as a recent addition to the You’ve Changed Records family. The band’s label debut, Warrior Down, arrives November 1 and to support their latest effort, Whoop-Szo will be heading out on a 14 date tour through Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
In advance of the album’s release, Whoop-Szo have shared the video for Gerry, a song written about the murder of bandleader Adam Sturgeon’s cousin by a Saskatchewan RCMP officer.
The video’s announcement came with the following statement from Sturgeon.
My cousin Gerry was shot by a cop. Murdered. In his own home. While the circumstances surrounding his death are unclear, there has only ever been one side to the story, that of the RCMP. No external investigations took place and our family is left without answers.
It is my preference to discuss Gerry through the video. The footage is all 8mm family film recaptured and archived by Travis Welowszky and projectionist Sebastian Di Trolio. It’s interesting coming from a mixed background because these films are that of a privileged experience; family vacations, golf trips, happy go lucky parties from the 60s and 70s set to the backdrop of an emotional firestorm and intense subject matter that has only just begun to reveal itself in our cultural history. History innocently projects itself back on the modern era.
I remember getting a call from Gerry shortly before he died. He was angry about a broken system, slurring his words through the distant telephone line from his home in Saskatchewan. He had taken to calling our house, connecting with my Mom for some much needed love and comfort, my Dad to address his issues with alcohol, and to converse with me about music and art… and to question my passions for my ‘Dad’s culture’. I’d change the subject, letting him know that the guitar he had given me, my first guitar in fact, was the passion and release that he had offered me and that I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’d be late for work or some other engagement and have to let him know several times that I needed to hang up the phone. He’d get angry again and start ranting on and I’d have to remind him there were places to be. He called me a sell out and I’d tell him I loved him. I promised I’d visit on tour sometime. I’d tell him he could teach me some more chords.
I’ve driven through the town he died in, but Gerry isn’t there. Where are our protectors when we need them? Why did an officer force his way into Gerry’s home? Why was Gerry shot 4 times and why have these circumstances been justified by a system that leaves the vulnerable under fire?
Nov 01 – London, ON – Rec Room
Nov 02 – Toronto, ON – The Round House
Nov 06 – St. Catharines, ON – The Warehouse
Nov 07 – Guelph, ON – Ebar
Nov 08 – Hamilton, ON – This Ain’t Hollywood
Nov 09 – Windsor, ON – Green Bean Cafe
Nov 21 – Peterborough, ON – Sadleir House
Nov 22 – Ottawa, ON – Cinqhole
Nov 23 – Montreal, QC – La Sala Rossa | M For Montreal
Nov 26 – Moncton, NB – Caveau
Nov 27 – Saint John, NB – Taco Pica
Nov 28 – Halifax, NS – The Seahorse
Nov 29 – Fredericton, NB – The Capital
Nov 30 – Quebec City, QC – Scanner
Photo Credit : Rima Sater